Police: Woman Set Fire Because Husband Smoked Her Pot

Linda Lopez charged with aggravated arson in connection with Sunday fire

A Chicago woman set fire to a Riverside apartment because she was mad at her husband for smoking all their pot, officials said.

Linda B. Lopez, 33, was charged with aggravated arson in connection with the Sunday morning fire in the 2900 block of South Harlem Avenue, in Riverside. At a bond hearing Tuesday in Maywood, Judge Ann Finley Collins set bond for Lopez at $20,000.

It was a tenant on Sunday morning said he was awakened by a fire alarm. Responding officers found a a small fire in a planter outside and a second blaze fire smoldering inside an apartment on the second floor, officials said. Firefighters from the Riverside Fire Department quickly put out the fire.

Police learned that Lopez, who lives on the 2800 block of South Drake Avenue, in Chicago, had been staying in the apartment after the previous tenant, whom they knew, moved out with rent paid through the end of the month, police said.

The couple had been "partying and consuming large amounts of heroin on a daily basis," the statement said.

On Saturday, the couple went to North Riverside Mall and shoplifted alcohol from an outlet store, then spent the rest of the day drinking, police said. They then went to the West Side of Chicago, where Lopez performed a sex act for money in an alley, and the pair used the money to buy crack cocaine, police said.

Lopez told police she fell asleep early Sunday, and when she woke up, her marijuana was gone. She accused her husband, and the argument turned violent, with Lopez punching and threatening to stab her husband with a knife, according to police.

She then punctured a plastic perfume bottle, poured the perfume on some towels in the hallway and set the towels on fire, according to police.

Lopez was later arrested in Berwyn, police said.

In the statement, Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel called Lopez's bond "bizarre," saying, “The apartment complex was occupied by tenants and two of the tenants were elderly and had disabilities that would have made it almost impossible to escape the building had the fire spread.”

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